Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.
It is that growing sense of comfort and acceptance that serves at the center of Judaism’s Encounter with American Sports. This book should not be mistaken as just another book about Jews in professional sports. For readers looking for inspiring tales of how figures like Sandy Koufax placed their religion over their profession, they should be forewarned that this book successfully tackles sports from a far broader perspective.
The title might therefore be slightly misleading, being that the book deals little with popularly held understandings of what is “American Sports” and deals more with American Judaism’s encounter with athletics.
Jeffrey Gurock, a professor of history at Yeshiva University, succeeds in drafting a thorough and often enlightening text of a unique aspect of American Jewish identity. Using sports as a prism with which to better understand the acclimation – if not assimilation – of American Jewry, this book will be of considerable interest even to those who can’t tell the difference between a touchdown and a homerun.
Both a historical and sociological study, the book traces how sport – which in ancient Jewish circles was more associated with Hellenism and material values – slowly became more acceptable even within more traditional circles. Gurock argues that this transition was a combination of accommodation and necessity – accommodation routed in a desire for Jews in modern society to conform with their secular surroundings and necessity based on a growing need for Jews to increase their physical prowess to defend their stature in increasingly hostile environments.
Mostly, the book presents sports as a mode of expression for Jewish immigrants, and more prominently as a vehicle for their children to feel like Americans.
With that desire came considerable challenges to issues of faith and religious observance, which Gurock concedes led some younger athletes to abandon their religious upbringing in favor of the more secular lifestyles that accompanied athletic success. Yet, the book more powerfully argues that religious leaders came to accept sports as a means to reach out to young Jews as a method of keeping them in the community.
Citing the arrival of gymnasiums into the construction plans of modern American synagogues and community centers, the book displays how by the mid-20th century, rabbis and Jewish communal leaders recognized that including sports facilities in their offerings had become a necessary approach to entice younger Jews to embrace religious observance.
In one of the most enlightening sections, reflecting the extensive research which must have been put into constructing this book, Gurock quotes from the European rabbinic luminary Rabbi Israel Mayer Kagan, commonly referred to as the Chofetz Chaim, encouraging his students to take up physical activities and warns them, “Do not study overmuch.” As a professor at Yeshiva University, America’s academic beacon for Modern Orthodoxy, Gurock makes a concerted effort to display how traditionalists like those who fathered his university were some of the more open-minded when it came to introducing athletics into their curricula. While integration took several generations, and in some more traditional communities has yet to occur, this book paints the process as an important manifestation of the desire of Jews in America to fit in with surroundings that place a fair degree of importance on success on the playing field.
Much of the historical narrative explored in the book focuses on Yeshiva University, which, through its underlying conceptual framework of melding traditional Judaism with manifestations of modernity, became the first chance for a Jewish student to retain observance and still “feel collegiate.” Gurock’s overemphasis on the role of Yeshiva in providing a safe haven for Jewish athletes might be criticized by readers who would quickly point out that many Jewish athletes not interested in a yeshiva lifestyle were continuing to face the conflicts between secularism and observance. Over the course of the 20th century, sports among American Jews became less an issue of identity preservation and an increasing form of entertainment, which even more traditional Jews could fall in love with without concern that it would harm their personal religiosity. This dramatic shift manifested itself to the extent that in 1986, when the New York Mets reached the World Series, observant Jewish fans went so far as to appeal (admittedly in vain) to major league officials to delay a pivotal playoff game scheduled for Yom Kippur. It is this type of anecdote that Gurock uses to colorfully display just how far Jews have come out of the shtetl. As an award-winning historian and an accomplished athlete, Gurock skillfully uses his writing to both display his academic prowess and his passion as a sports fan. As a highly readable and often captivating book, Judaism’s Encounter with American Sports is sure to leave readers crossing the finish line with a better and more informed understanding of the role of athletics in the development of the American Jew.(JPFS)
Over the course of the 20th century, sports among American Jews became less an issue of identity preservation and an increasing form of entertainment, which even more traditional Jews could fall in love with without concern that it would harm their personal religiosity. This dramatic shift manifested itself to the extent that in 1986, when the New York Mets reached the World Series, observant Jewish fans went so far as to appeal (admittedly in vain) to major league officials to delay a pivotal playoff game scheduled for Yom Kippur. It is this type of anecdote that Gurock uses to colorfully display just how far Jews have come out of the shtetl.
As an award-winning historian and an accomplished athlete, Gurock skillfully uses his writing to both display his academic prowess and his passion as a sports fan. As a highly readable and often captivating book, Judaism’s Encounter with American Sports is sure to leave readers crossing the finish line with a better and more informed understanding of the role of athletics in the development of the American Jew.(JPFS)
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Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.
There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.
This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).
While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.
Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.
The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.
“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”
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Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.
It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.
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Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.
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The Jewish fascination with Chinese food goes beyond the fact that it tastes good.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-judaisms-encounter-with-american-sports/2005/12/21/
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